Popular teaching guidance accessed by teachers over 100,000 times a year updated today

School and setting leaders should focus on embedding new teaching and learning strategies well, including ‘de-implementing’ approaches that have served their purpose or proven to be ineffective, according to an updated report

The Education Endowment Foundation’s guidance report published today focuses on how to maximise the impact of new approaches on staff practice and pupil learning. 

The latest edition of A School’s Guide to Implementation, produced in collaboration with expert teachers and leading academics and based on a new review of the evidence, outlines how school and setting leaders can maximise the impact of changes to practice through effective and careful implementation. The new report unpacks how to implement new approaches well, emphasising the importance of a people-centred approach.  

The guidance is focused on three key elements: 

1.       The behaviours that drive effective implementation. Changes to practice are more likely to be impactful when staff are actively engaged and united, and given opportunities to reflect on implementation as it progresses. 

2.       The contextual factors that facilitate implementation. Implementation leaders should consult robust research to select and judge the suitability of potential new approaches, as well as looking at how well the school infrastructure, such as timetables or data systems, supports staff to implement new approaches. Implementation leaders should consider how different members of the school community can be drawn on to support the changes. 

3.       A structured, but flexible, process to enact implementation. This process helps schools navigate and manage implementation by defining four manageable phases: explore, prepare, deliver and sustain.  

According to today’s new report, these three elements work together: the process helps schools do implementation, while the behaviours and contextual factors help them do it well. 

The EEF said the previous edition of its guidance on implementation has been one its of its most popular resources with teachers and is accessed, on average, over 100,000 times a year.  

This new update builds on the recommendations of the previous guidance, by incorporating lessons from a new evidence review. It is the latest in a suite of EEF guidance reports that provide practical, evidence-based advice for improving key areas of teaching and learning, including feedback, professional development, and mathematics.  

The EEF’s national Research Schools Network will work to help local schools in their region to build on the recommendations in today’s report and provide implementation support with further training and resources. 

Professor Becky Francis, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “One of the key lessons from the EEF’s work over the past decade is that implementation matters.  

“Our schools are some of the most research engaged in the word – but changes to practice must be carefully managed in order for that to pay. 

“As well as using evidence to identify which approaches or interventions to implement, it also matters  how  education settings—whether that’s a school, nursery, or college—put these approaches into practice.  

“Ultimately, it’s not just what you implement but how you do it too.” 

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